Page images
PDF

With the base murmure of the water's fall ; The waters fall, with difference discreet,

Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call, The gently warbling wind lowe answering to all,

SPENSER.

SONG.

Go, lovely rose!
Tell her that wastes her time, and me,

That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that's young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,

That, hadst thou sprung
In deserts, where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died

Small is the worth
Of beauty, from the light retir'd;

Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desir'd,
And not blush so to be admir'd.

Then die! that she
The common fate of all things rare

May read in thee:
How small a part of time they share,
That are so wondrous sweet and fair!

WALLER.

ADDRESS TO THE DEITY.
O THOU great arbiter of life and death!
Nature's immortal, immaterial sun!
Whose all-prolific beam late call'd me forth
From darkness, teeming darkness, where I lay
The worm's inferior, and, in rank, beneath

The dust I tread on, high to bear my brow,
To drink the spirit of the golden day,
And triumph in existence; and couldst know
No motive but my bliss ; with Abraham's joy,
Thy call I follow to the land unknown ;
I trust in thee, and know in whom I trust;
Or life or death is equal ; neither weighs ;
All weight in this-0 let me live to thee!

YOUNG.

BELINDA. Nor with more glories in th' ethereal plain, The sun first rises o'er the purpled main, Than, issuing forth, the rival of his beams Launch'd on the bosom of the silver Thames. Fair nymphs, and well-drest youths, around her shone; But ev'ry eye was fix'd on her alone. On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore, Which Jews might kiss, and Infidels adore. Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose, Quick as her eyes, and as unfixt as those ; Favours to none, to all she smiles extends ; Oft she rejects, but never once offends. Bright as the sun her eyes the gazers strike, And, like the sun, they shine on all alike. Yet graceful ease, and sweetness void of pride, Might hide their faulis, if belles had faults to hide If to her share some female errors fall, Look on her face, and you 'll forget them all.

PoPE.

THE THAMES. My eye, descending from the hill, surveys Where Thames among the wanton valleys strays. Thames, the most lov'd of all the Ocean's sons By his old sira, to his embraces runs ;

Hasting to pay his tribute to the sea,
Like mortal life to meet eternity.
Though with those streams he no resemblance hold
Whose foam is amber, and their gravel gold,
His genuine and less guilty wealth t explore,
Search not his bottom, but survey his shore,
O'er which he kindly spreads his spacious wing,
And hatches plenty for th' ensuing spring ;
Nor then destroys it with too fond a stay,
Like mothers who their infants overlay ;
Nor with a sudden and impetuous wave,
Like profuse kings, resumes the wealth he gave.
No unexpected inundations spoil
The mower's hopes, or mock the ploughman's toil :
But godlike his unwearied bounty flows ;
First loves to do, then loves the good he does.
Nor are his blessings to his banks confin'd,
But free and common, as the sea or wind;
When he, to boast or to disperse his stores,
Full of the tributes of his grateful shores,
Visits the world, and in his flying low'rs
Brings home to us, and makes both Indies ours;
Finds wealth where 't is, bestows it where it wants;
Cities in deserts, woods in cities, plants.
So that to us, no thing, no place is strange,
While his fair bosom is the world's exchange.
O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
My great example, as it is my theme!
Though deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet not dull;
Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full.
Heav'n her Eridanus no more shall boast,
Whose fame in thine, like lesser current, 's lost.
Thy nobler streams shall visit Jove's abodes,
To shine among the stars,* and bathe the gods.

DENHAM.

* The Forest.

THE CASTLE OF INDOLENCE. In lowly dale, fast by a river's side, With woody hill o'er hill encompass'd round, A most enchanting wizard did abide, Than whom a fiend more fell is nowhere found. It was, I ween, a lovely spot of ground : And there a season atween June and May Half prankt with spring, with summer half im

brown'd, A listless climate made, where, sooth to say, No living wight could work, ne cared even for play.

Was nought around but images of rest:
Sleep-soothing groves, and quiet lawns between,
And flow'ry beds that slumbrous influence kest,
From poppies breath'd; and beds of pleasant green,
Where never yet was creeping creature seen;
Meantime unnumber'd glittering streamlets play'd,
And hurled every where their waters sheen;

That, as they bicker'd through the sunny glade, Though restless still themselves, a lulling murmur

made.

Join'd to the prattle of the purpling rills Were heard the lowing herds along the vale, And flocks loud-bleating from the distant hills, And vacant shepherds piping in the dale ; And now and then sweet Philomel would wail, Or Stock-doves 'plain amid the forest deep, That drowsy rustled to the sighing gale ; And still a coil the grasshopper did keep: Yet all these sounds yblent inclined all to sleep.

Full in the passage of the vale above,
A sable, silent, solemn forest stood :
Where nought but shadowy forms was seen to

move,
As Idleness fancied in her dreaming mood;

And up the hills on either side a wood
Of blackening pines, ay waving to and fro,
Sent forth a sleepy horror through the blood;

And where this valley winded out below,
The murmuring main was heard, and scarcely heard,

to flow.
A pleasing land of drowsihed it was,
Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eyes;
And of gay castles in the clouds that pass,
For ever flushing round a summer sky;
There eke the soft delights that witchingly
Instil a wanton sweetness through the breast,
And calm the pleasures, always hover'd nigh,

But whate'er smack'd of noyance, or unrest,
Was far, far off expellid from this delicious nest.

The landscape such, inspiring perfect ease,
Where Indolence (for so the wizard hight)
Close hid his castle 'mid embow'ring trees,
That half shut out the beams of Phæbus bright,
And made a kind of chequer'd day and night:
Meanwhile, unceasing at the massy gate,
Beneath a spacious palm, the wicked wight

Was plac'd; and, to his lute, of cruel fate
And labour harsh complain'd, lamenting man's estate.

THOMSON.

THE WEARISOMENESS OF WHAT IS COMMONLY CALLED A LIFE OF PLEASURE. THE spleen is seldom felt where Flora reigns; The low'ring eye, the petulance, the frown, . And sullen sadness, that o'ershade, distort, And mar the face of beauty, where no cause For such immeasurable woe appears ; These Flora banishes, and gives the fair Sweet smiles and bloom, less transient than her own. It is the constant revolution, stale

« PreviousContinue »